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Why aren't you too happy with #1?? I think it's awesome! I might try lightening the shadows or black a bit, but that's about all I would do. Were those just clouds on top of the mountain? It makes it look like it's a volcano with some smoke! I love the colors in the sky.

#2 doesn't do too much for me, personally. I couldn't figure out what it was until I read the description, but that may be what you're going for Smile

I know what you're talking about with the FB comments. Sometimes I'll have something that is so incredibly technically wrong and completely out of focus, but people go ga-ga over it. I have to keep in mind that most people aren't as critical as I am and aren't looking for the same things as me, and they just want to see a cute picture, or something "different". But man, it kills me to post some of the pictures on my personal FB page that I post, but I know my parents will want to see it LOL!

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Tracy, do you have the 28-135mm?

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Do you like this better for #1?
Pastoral Sunset HDR

On #2, Steph, I kind of like doing odd stuff like that, so I know it's not for everyone. It's good to get the feedback at any rate.

I have an 18-135mm lens. It's the kit lens that came with the 60D. I like it a lot for its versatility; though I'm still desperately wanting a prime lens, a 50mm 1.4 or an 85mm. Smile

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I'm on my phone at the moment, so I won't comment on the edit right now. But I will Smile

I'm really trying to make the full frame 6D work for me. I just wish my kit lenses would work on it! I was really sad when I realized they wouldn't, because I had Drew on board with it, even though its pretty pricy. I'm just trying to figure out a way to still make it work. If I didn't want the 85mm in the not too distant future, it might be a little easier of a decision. I may just go with the 7D so I can afford a little more later. I'd just go with a new lens right now, but I've really outgrown this camera, and need some more versatility. Anything will be a huge improvement to my XTi! I just have to keep reminding myself that!

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I've tried to reply here a few times but kept getting logged out. Let's try again!

Thanks for the CC ladies. Yes, you're right as always. Some of the orientations are a little strange. I was restricted as one side of the room had great bit windows with fantastic light and the other end was quite dark. The windows had the 'view' albeit blocked by that darn tree. The other end had packing boxes and a family having their lunch (with the expected mess that accompanies young children). So, if I shot in to the room the background was ridiculously cluttered.

Apologies if I repeat any other CC. I haven't read it yet.

Sadie:

1. I like the composition in regards to the brick space compared to non bricked space, though maybe he could have been slightly more left of frame (i.e. if you had taken a small step to the right). Great leading lines leading to him. The colour isn't quite spot on but it is pretty good. Was he quite tall. It looks like you may have been shooting up at him. I can see up his nostrils a bit plus, the angle makes his head slightly smaller and his body slightly larger (or maybe that was him?)

#2 That skin is beautiful!! I think i would like this better turned on its side. I can see you in his eyes Wink

#3. This is gorgeous and I love, love, love. I think this one really shows how far you have come lately with your photography. Great pose / composition. Simply beautiful!

Steph:
1. I think I can see where you were going with this, however, the background is a little distracting. I feel like it is all a bit too busy. I would prefer to see a different crop too as this one seems to be more accidental than posed (hand chop, chop part of leg and foot).

2. Again maybe a little too busy and I would like to see him more to the left of frame because of the orientation of his body.

3. My favourite of the three although it looks like you may have caught him about to make a run for it or just having sat down. His face is maybe a touch dark??

Tracy, I will have to come back for yours. I need to get the kids to swimming.

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I like the edit better, Tracy!

Thanks for the CC, G!

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Tracy.

#1 is really nice. I would think it is the colour and contrast in the sky that is your drawing all your facebook admirers. It is quite well done. I do like the edit better.

#2 is really cool. I love it and now I really want to try something similar!!

Do you use noiseware? If so, which one? Your edits always look clean even if used high ISOs

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"shadow_grey" wrote:

Do you use noiseware? If so, which one? Your edits always look clean even if used high ISOs

I use Noiseware Community Edition (the free version of the software) and find it to be quite good. I recommend giving it a try. Thanks for the CC!

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I haven't really been contributing to either of the CC threads (I'm part of #2 and haven't posted in ages) but saw your picture Tracy and had to comment.

I did like #1 myself, though I like the second one you posted of it better.

Even though I didn't know what #2 was I liked it, liked the pop of the blue and the details of the ice.

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I didn't have anything worth sharing yesterday so I didn't. Hopefully this week will be more productive

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I know how that goes. Sometimes it's hard to get out and get anything, isn't it? Especially when the kids don't want to cooperate!

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Okay, I just HAVE to share this. When I got out of the shower on Saturday morning, Drew asked me which camera it was that I wanted. "Is it the 5D Mark III?" I told him that I would LOVE to have that one, but I think it's a little too expensive, and I would love to go with 6D, but not all of the lenses work with it. Trying to explain to him why they won't work is like trying to explain rocket science to him or something Wink

ANYWAY! The point being, he was looking at the lenses and I was explaining the difference in the lenses focal length and aperture because he didn't understand why this lens is more expensive than that lens. Then he got up, went in the cabinet, got some Motrin and said, "Man, those prices are giving me a headache." LOL! Not sure how far I'm going to get with my eventual upgrade Wink

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LOL, Steph! Thankfully my DH is a science/research guy, so HE knows more about lenses and things than I do.

But interesting that Drew was asking about what camera you really wanted just two months before Christmas. Wink Mind you, if you're anything like us, that doesn't mean anything... our budget is so tight that we plan these purchases for ages before taking the plunge, but still... you just never know when Santa might surprise you. Biggrin

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Tracy- I LOVE the 2nd edit! WOW! GORGEOUS! I think the ice one is neat. I can't really CC on it b/c I don't specialize in it, but it's gorgeous! Tracy- as for noiseware, do you feel like it unsaturates your photos some and you lose detail? I am struggling with some of mine.

Steph- I sure hope you get a new one if you want it! Randall truly believes I will never need another one again. LOL! He is tired of buying me cameras!

I will have some up later for CC. Been too busy!

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"sadieruth" wrote:

as for noiseware, do you feel like it unsaturates your photos some and you lose detail? I am struggling with some of mine.

I've never found that it desaturates things at all. But sometimes detail is lost... however, usually it's very minutely, so you can only tell if you're pixel-peeping or it's blown up very large. Usually I think the benefits outweigh the minimal problems. Occasionally, though, if the noise is really bad, it will either strip out too much detail OR it just won't be very effective (i.e. detail remains but it will still be quite noisy).

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I have found that you loose the most detail if you crop in too tight and THEN run the noiseware on it. I try to remember to crop after I run it.

Yeah, that would be awesome if he's thinking about Christmas! I think he's thinking more around tax return/bonus time (March maybe). I've got quite a bit of money saved up right now. I'll probably see what I can get out of my camera and 2 EF-S lenses and have that make the final decision for me on FF vs Crop. Man, I really want that FF though (6D)! Adorama is having a deal for Clickin Moms (did I mention I finally joined??) that brings the price of the Mark III down to what the 6D + lens is costing. I doubt that deal will still be on when we're ready to buy though. Bummer! I'd deal with just my 50mm to get my hands on the Mark III!

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What about buying a used Canon 5D Mark II? Just wondering if that'd be a good compromise.

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I thought about that, but I really like the new features on the 6D, so I think I'd rather go with that instead.

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Hopping on before a VERY busy Halloween day, with my images for this week.

#1. Something a little different, but I loved the light here, wondering if it translates to the viewer or not.
f5.6, SS 1/200, ISO 400, FL 135mm
Sunlight

#2. f4.0, SS 1/125, ISO 1600, FL 24mm
Micah

#3. So mad my DOF was too shallow on this, but still interested in CC.
f5.6, SS 1/80, ISO 2000, FL 135mm
Feeling Better!

#4. I did an image very similar to this a couple of weeks ago, thought I'd try it again with some changes. Wondering if you like this one.
f5.6, SS 1/320, ISO 400, FL 126mm
Fall Colours

For reference, here is the original:
Glorious Red

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Guess I forgot to post yesterday lol! Not that I really have anything to share that hasn't already been shared. Just quick snaps and iPhone shots Wink

#1 - When I just glanced at it, I didn't really like it. When I took a good look at it, that quickly changed. I love the way the light is, and how crisp your focus is.

#2 - I know you mentioned in your other thread about his hair blending into the background. I'm just not sure what to tell you. I'm sure it's the lighting though. Maybe you could try putting him on the floor, so the light could hit the top of his head a little better. Or, you could possibly get a white foam board, or one of those science project tri-fold boards in white and use it as a cheapo reflector, and place it up off the ground pointing down on his head more. You'd probably have to try a few different set-ups with it to see what might work best. But that's all I've got, since my kiddos are blonde.

#3 - She looks so happy in this one! It's a little centered with her eyes. She might look a little too pink, but I can't say for sure since I'm not calibrated.

#4 - I like this one better than the first try. You may still want to bring down the yellows a bit, but I like the richness of this, instead of the hazy-ness of the first one. The comp is also better, since the horizon isn't cutting through it.

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Tracy
1. I find the blown lights in this are hurting my eyes are quite distracting. I like the almost translucent quality to some of t he leaves but otherwise, I'm not overly fond of this one.

2. Did you bounce the flash? Where to/from? Micah has an onbvious line across his hairline. At first I thought it might have just been his hair cut but because it zigzags up then back down towards his right eye I thought it must actually be from the flash. Your clarity is fantastic as always. I'd like you the tiniest bit higher and maybe the chair slightly side on and to one side rather than directly front on and centred.

3. Nice light in her eyes. As a snap it is nice. As a photograph I'd maybe be careful about the hair in her mouth and the wide open mouth.

4. I really like the new one. I thought the first attemot was ok but I really like the new one. Great autumn colours, great light, great clarity

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"shadow_grey" wrote:

2. Did you bounce the flash? Where to/from? Micah has an onbvious line across his hairline. At first I thought it might have just been his hair cut but because it zigzags up then back down towards his right eye I thought it must actually be from the flash.

No flash on this shot. Natural window light was used, and he was at about a 30-40 degree angle from the window. I know what you're talking about though, as I do often have a problem with Micah's hairline in shots. It often has this lighter/darker quality to it, and I can't figure it out. I sometimes use a soft light layer that creates a bit of a problem with his hair, but that isn't the case here. And the reason the soft light layer creates a problem is because his hair is lighter around the edges and darker on top naturally, even though that's not as obvious IRL, for some reason! It seems very odd!

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I haven't had time to edit / watermark what I wanted to share. Struggling with light and focus still. Feeling like I suck at this

50mm ISO400 spot metered, F3.2 SS1/800

50mm ISO400 spot metered, F3.2 SS1/500

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Great job with your spot metering! Exposure looks good on her face Smile Now, you're saying that you're struggling with light. What time of day are you typically shooting? That's going to have a major impact on your photos, unless you are in some open shade. Even then, you can run into dappled lighting. I LOVE filtered backlighting. It's my favorite type to shoot. But, you have to make sure you have the right spot to do so.

Find some open shade. Wait until the sun gets down to the top of the trees. That will keep the sun from giving you the "hazy" look (as long as your standing in shadow, and not letting the light peek through the trees). Use your spot metering and snap some photos. If you want to get some directional light, angle your subject slightly toward the trees. That will give you a bit of shadow on one side of the face, while the light from the open part directly across the trees will light up the rest of the face.

I hope that makes sense...

The biggest problem with these is the background. It's just too bright. So try out what I described, and I think you'll be happier with the results Smile

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Those are sweet shots! I can't really add anything to Steph's CC, as she's got it bang-on, it's mostly the dappled light and the bright background that's the issue.

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P.S. DH and I are going to Vegas from Tues. - Fri. this week, so I won't take up my turn this week, or be around to CC for a few days, come Tues. a.m.

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Yay!!!! Have so much fun!!! Can't wait to see the photos when you get back.

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Thanks ladies. I'm always shooting at the "wrong" time of day (i.e. late morning to early afternoon) as I can never seem to get out at the right times. Often I am driving around and see the golden evening light and think I wish I was out taking photos right now. I figure if that is the only time I can get out I am going to have to learn to make it work for me

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"shadow_grey" wrote:

Thanks ladies. I'm always shooting at the "wrong" time of day (i.e. late morning to early afternoon) as I can never seem to get out at the right times. Often I am driving around and see the golden evening light and think I wish I was out taking photos right now. I figure if that is the only time I can get out I am going to have to learn to make it work for me

I totally identify with this. It frustrates me to read over and over about the golden hour, when usually that doesn't work for us. Except in early or late summer, when we can get out after supper for a while, and before the kids' bedtimes. I have worked on trying to make any time of day work... knowing that the results won't be as great as shooting during the golden hour, but looking for the right kind of light and/or shade to minimize the problems of, say, a contrasty bright day or whatever. I think it's helpful to learn to take decent photos within the parameters that work for you, even if you know that another time of day would be better.

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Don't worry, G. You can take some great photos in late morning. I've taken plenty. You just have to look for some shade. You're probably going to need to be near a building so you can get an even background, because if you're in shade made by trees, you're going to get dappled light peeking through in the background making very very bright/hot spots, taking the concentration off of your subject. I would use the side of my house as shade quite often in those situations. It's definitely possible, so don't fret. But definitely try to get out during golden hour sometime. You'll be hooked Wink Around here (at the moment with the time change), the best time for me in our yard is 3:30-4. The light is gorgeous coming through the trees. So, that's a pretty good time for me, since we're not in "the witching hour" after dinner.

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Okay, I'm going to quickly do this since I need to pick Carson up from school, so there won't be settings. I just don't want to forget!!

1

IMG_6922-3web by Stephanie.Miller, on Flickr

2

IMG_6984-3web by Stephanie.Miller, on Flickr

3

IMG_6994-3web by Stephanie.Miller, on Flickr

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I'll just keep the last ones up for this week Smile

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Sorry no one replied last week, Steph! With our Vegas trip, I wasn't online much.

These are really cute. I love the soft autumn colours and especially the nice bokeh behind his head in #1.

I would've liked to see more room above his head in #1, I think. Just a bit. It just feels a bit cramped (says me, queen of zooming in too far). And perhaps shooting from a slightly lower position to get more of the beautiful bokeh from the trees behind him.

#2 and #3 are both great expressions. Beautifully backlit, all of them! Again, I think maybe just a slightly lower position, but otherwise they're great.

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Thanks! I think you had left by the time I posted these on Tuesday, so no worries Smile I understand!

These are all crops, so I am pretty sure I can get some more above the head in #1. I wish that the kids would have cooperated more in their photos together. The ones I posted of my neighbor girls are what I was going for, but they just wouldn't relax! I swear that if their hands are on each other, they have to wrestle or tickle one another. Wink


IMG_6944-3web by Stephanie.Miller, on Flickr

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Steph, I have that problem with my kids too. You can't get them both smiling nicely at the same time, if your life depends on it! Wink The canvas I finally ordered had Micah with just a half-smile, but it was the best I could do. I couldn't even find some to head-swap, to cheat it. But that pic is really cute, I love Jackson's expression!

I'll just post a couple of my Red Rock pics today.

#1 - Just wondering whether this one, or #2, is better of the rocks.
Las Vegas 2012

#2 -
Las Vegas 2012

#3 - I like the moodiness of this with the sky, but not sure it really works. CC would be helpful.
Las Vegas 2012

#4 - Another moody shot with the clouds to the one side... it was actually raining in this shot, though you can't really tell. But I'm wondering if it's too dark.
Las Vegas 2012

Sorry no kiddo pics, I haven't been home to take any!!

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The first two are both lovely shots, but I think if I had to choose, I'd choose #1. I like that you can see more of the rocks with all the texture in it.

I do like the mood in the sky in the last 2, though I feel like they doesn't pop as well as some of your other photos do. I'm not sure why that is with #3, because there's some nice color there. I'm sorry! I'm not very helpful with these! I do think they're all nice shots! I wish I could critique landscapes better.

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Sorry I didn't reply last week Steph. It has been kind of crazy here - it is that time of year plus we do all our school registration, orientation etc at this time.

I am about to head back out so I will have to give CC tomorrow (I don't want to rush it)

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Ok. I'm on and I have time. It's been busy, again.

Steph.

#1. What really grabs me about this, and you probably didn't plan it, is his hands. It is just the way he is holding them that gas a sweetness about it. It kind of looks like there was light from above, which could've highlighting the top of the ridge about his eyes. Only slightly, but I see something. These shots show how far you have come getting great natural light and your processing looks natural too. Great work.

#2. I would like to see a slightly tighter crop as I feel like he us getting a little lost in the shot. The autumn colours are great though.

#3. I prefer the angle of Jackson in this one and like that you can see more of the seat. I think the colour was probsy a little better in Carson's image though.

I also agree with Tracy that I would have liked to have seen these **** from a slightly lower position.

With your extra shot, I really like it. It is what brothers should look like and it has great light!

Tracy.
#1/2. I like the colour in the front rock in image 1 but I feel it draws the eye too much. Composition wise I think number 2 is better as you get a better perspective of the valley. I love the colour and the clarity, especially the detail in those rocks. And look at that sky! Mine always results in the rest if the picture looking underexposed if I get a good sky. How do you do it?

#3. I agree that the sky is good. The higher part of the sky (top of image) is boring though. Maybe you could try a panoramic crop and sim for 1/3 grass, 1/3 rock and 1/3 cloud and see if that gives it more if a 'wow' factor.

#4. Thus us a bit too dark for me. Plus I keep going to the shrub on the left which is a bit boring. The line if the cloud, rock and grassy hill all seem to point towards it though so I keep going back to it. Thus doesn't have the pop that some of your other landscapes have. It is more flat.

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"shadow_grey" wrote:

I love the colour and the clarity, especially the detail in those rocks. And look at that sky! Mine always results in the rest if the picture looking underexposed if I get a good sky. How do you do it?

It was pretty good SOOC, which is mostly due to the use of a polarizing filter. The filter prevents the sky from getting washed out and makes those blues really pop. But in this case as well, just to get a bit more definition in the colour of the rocks and to boost the exposure of the foreground a TOUCH, I did this in HDR. It didn't really need much help, unlike sometimes when I HDR a shot to really ensure some nice even exposure throughout (like this shot, where the detail in the trees was totally lost if I didn't do HDR); but it did help it just a touch here.

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See, I know absolutely nothing about HDR. That will be something to learn down the line, I guess.

Here's mine. I'm struggling with colour at the moment. I can't seem to do anything in PP without making the colours funny and they are not great SOOC. So throw it all at me!

All taken with my 50mm. All in camera crop (not PP cropping). All taken at ISO250, f3.5. First three SS 1/500, last one 1/320.
1.

2. Background too busy.

3.

4.

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Shadow, the light on these is much more pleasing -- no dappling, etc.! Good job!

#1 - Love her pose and smile. She looks very sweet. I agree the colour isn't quite right, but can't quite put my finger on it. It seems she's a little on the green/yellow side. In some ways she looks a bit too bright, as well (arms, mostly, not face so much).

#2 - Agree about the background as well. But you've found a good spot in terms of the light, so now if you can look for a similar spot where there's nothing immediately in the background, you'd be off to the races, as my mom would say! Wink And I like his pose, smile, and the bare feet. Biggrin He doesn't look entirely relaxed with the placement of his arm, but it's certainly not a dealbreaker. Colour looks better on this one.

#3 - Cute pose again. I think a bit more room above him would've been nice, and for a pose like this, the tree doesn't really add anything, but again, not a dealbreaker. This one seems pretty cool, colour-wise.

#4 - This is so sweet! I would just like more room around them, and it looks a bit bright and yellow.

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Thanks Tracy. I kept seeing lots of green / yellow in them but I don't know enough about PP to fix it (and actually keep making it worse). Hayden wasn't completely relaxed. He wanted me to "hurry up" so he could go play. I wish I had more room in #4 too but it was a case of quick point and shoot before the moment past. I had my 50mm on so to get more room I would have had to run back a bit.

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I just wanted to drop a line to let you guys know that I'll be gone starting Tuesday and will be gone until Monday. I'll check in on my phone when I can. I'll try to CC yours before I leave, G!

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I agree that you have a lot more even light in these. So way to go there! Overall, I'd have to agree that there's some green that I'm seeing. Also that the skin looks overexposed on all of them.

I just think that what these are lacking is some depth. Whether it be from the setting that you're using, or by using the light to get some direction on them. What I really like about the golden hour backlighting is that it puts a glow around your subject, making them stand out from the background. Photography really is all about the light. I remember a little while back, you sharing the ones that you took indoors. Those were great, and had so much depth to them. These, are just kind of flat, and that's not because of you, or your kids, but it's just because of the lighting that you're using. Yes, you got the light nice and even, and you don't have any bright/hot spots, but now, it just feels like there needs to be some "interest" in there.

I think you have the basics down at this point, but you just need a push to get past this point. I hope I don't sound harsh. Just getting nitpicky with you, cause I know you can do it Smile

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Steph, yes please do get nitpicky. I am definitely stalled. I need all the pushing you can give!

Ladybugsteph's picture
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Joined: 06/21/06
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I know that I was stuck in a rut for quite some time. Learning about the light really helped me get past it, and take my photography to the next level. That, and Lightroom 4 Wink lol

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Guess who's going to be the proud owner of a 5D MK III come March!! Drew and I talked, and he said that we're gonna "go big or go home". (His words exactly Wink )

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Oh wow, that's amazing Steph!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Whoop whoop Steph! So excited for you! Randall and I were talking about the pros and cons and he went the opposite way thinking I was saying mine isn't good enough. UGH. I felt like a failure b/c that is NOT what I am saying. I would love to go with the D800. LOVE. However, I really still have tons of room to grow, so I am good.

Shadow- I agree about the colors here, they are off. I feel like #2 is the closest to the right color. I think the CC you have been given is great. Just keep pushing yourself. We have ALL been in a rut. I always feel like I take two steps forward and 10 backwards.

shadow_grey's picture
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That is so exciting Steph. I am seriously jealous!!

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